Muscat, Oman, November, 5, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and Bank Muscat signed today an agreement
that will make it easier for smaller businesses in Oman to access financing,
helping these firms expand and create jobs.
The agreement will see IFC advise the
bank as it launches new products and services aimed at micro, small, and
medium enterprises. Bank Muscat will also offer support to women-owned
businesses, helping them become more active economic players.
“Small businesses are a vital part
of the Omani economy,” said Abdul Razak Ali Issa, Chief Executive of Bank
Muscat. “Bank Muscat is proud to sign this agreement with IFC, which will
help entrepreneurs address the challenges faced by small and medium enterprises
(SME) and provide an environment critical to SME success.”
While there are more than 100,000 smaller
businesses in Oman, most don’t have access to bank loans, making it hard
for them to grow. IFC will help Bank Muscat develop a new model for reaching
out to these enterprises, offering businesses not only loans, but also
“In many ways, Oman's banking system
can serve as a model for other countries in the Middle East and North Africa,"
said Rashad Kaldany, IFC Vice President of Global Industries. "This
agreement will help show that supporting smaller businesses not only encourages
economic development, but that it also makes financial sense for banks."
This marks the most recent partnership
between the two organizations. In late 2011, IFC provided Bank Muscat with
a $170 million loan to boost lending to smaller businesses. The initiative
is part of IFC’s efforts in the Middle East and North Africa to support
entrepreneurs. During the 2012 fiscal year, which ended in June, IFC facilitated
the disbursement of 325,000 loans worth $672 million to micro, small, and
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial
markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments.
In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion,
leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation,
and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more
information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Bank Muscat
Bank Muscat is the Sultanate of Oman’s
largest bank with assets worth $19.2 billion as of June, giving it a nearly
40 percent market share. The bank’s small and medium enterprise business
has pioneered many industry-leading practices and remains committed to
further growth. The bank has a strong corporate banking business and has
also built the country’s largest consumer banking franchise through its
network of 135 branches. For more information, please visit www.bankmuscat.com.